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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78679
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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We are a small business and have been sent an invoice for

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We are a small business and have been sent an invoice for training services which we did not receive. We were tricked into believing the company was a Government backed scheme. Found out they were using the same name as a scheme backed by the government, received a call from someone from the real scheme who asked me if I was aware of who I was dealing with. They helped us go through the proper channels to apply directly. Wrote and cancelled our application immediately. One of their staff members kept calling me and trying to trick me into thinking he was from the real scheme however, I was advised to get everything sent to me by e-mail so that I could be sure who I was dealing with. Had several calls from this man, I asked him to stop calling as we had cancelled our application with his company. He eventually stopped calling for 3 months. He called recently as the government backed scheme was coming to an end, unfortunately I was off my guard and told him we had been successful with our application. When he didn't know anything about it, I realised who he was and ended the call. The following day I received an invoice for providing training services. I wrote back to say we had not had any such services and had cancelled our application within 1 week. I have now had a debt collecting agency write to us. I replied to them saying that we had not received any of the services or equipment specified. How can I stop this from escalating further? They are just ignoring the fact that they have not provided the training services or equipment which was offered as part of their training package. Please could you let me know how to handle this?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Bromsgrove in Worcestershire
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have e-mailed the company to say we will not be paying the invoice as we did not receive any services from them, and cancelled our application. I also replied back to the debt collecting agents saying the same thing
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: We dealt directly with the real government run scheme to get a candidate. We have all the paperwork etc from them.
Hello, I’m Ben, a solicitor, and it’s my pleasure to assist you. I may ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hello, what other information do you require?

I understand a debt collect agency is pursuing you for payment of service you did not receive. How did you cancel the service at the time?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
All was done by e-mail. I e-mailed to say that we would like to cancel our application immediately.
Thank you, ***** ***** this on the same day?
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
No, it was 1 week after receiving a call from the legitimate government backed scheme advising me that I was not dealing with them directly, and was I aware of this.

OK I understand and how much are you being pursued for?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
163;1,200.00. This is the amount that the scheme pay out for training, and set up costs.

Thank you, ***** ***** can I just check if you have queried this directly with the company that called you?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Which company? the debt collecting company or the company who are trying to get paid for services which were not provided?
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Or the real government backed company?

The company that claimed to be from the government backed scheme

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I told them at the very beginning the day after I cancelled by e-mail. A man called Steve called. I told him all about the call I had received and the reason I had cancelled with them. He said he would get a manager to call me back. He didn't. He called me about 10 times saying he was either from the government backed scheme or he was working with them
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I always asked him to e-mail so that I could see where his e-mail was coming from. He didn't

OK I understand and thank you for providing the information requested. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now. I will get back to you with my full reply on here; usually the same day and the system will notify you when this happens.

I should also make you aware that this is not always an instant service, due to various legal engagements I could have and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I will be dealing with your query and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you. I will just wait to hear from you for now.

No problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Many thanks for your patience, it is appreciated. I am now pleased to be able to provide further assistance with your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues brought up by this. It must be a frustrating situation to be going through.

Whilst a party can make demands for payment, instruct debt collectors or threaten legal action, it is important to note that they can only really force someone to pay if they actually go to court, submit a claim and are successful with it.

There is, however, no guarantee that they will actually ever go that far. Many people issue threats and demands, without ever having the intention of taking the matter to Court. This is done in the hope that the scare the other party into complying with their demands to avoid the risk of being taken to Court. However, until a formal notification of a Court claim has been issued, there is never a guarantee that a claim will actually be made and it could always remain just a threat, rather than reality.

Even if a claim was made, due to the value of compensation sought, this matter would be assigned to the Small Claims Court. This is a relatively low-risk option because it is specifically aimed at the smaller, legally unrepresented parties. The costs of claiming are not that high, there is no need to have a lawyer and incur further costs as a result and even if a party loses the claim, they will not be liable to pay the other side’s legal fees. All they would have to pay is the court fees, which at most will be several hundred pounds and whatever the Court has decided should be paid to the claimant as a result of their original claim.

Also, once judgment has been issued, on the assumption you lose, the judgment is entered on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines, where it will remain for 6 years. This is what is known as ‘having a CCJ’ and can impact your credit rating. However, if payment of the judgment is made within one month, the record will be removed from the Register and will no longer be visible. If payment is made after one month has passed, it will still remain on the Register for the 6 years, but will be marked as ‘satisfied’.

To conclude, it is possible to wait and see how far the other side is willing to take this before deciding on how to respond and even if a claim is made, it is possible to proceed and defend the claim in the knowledge that the financial risks of doing so will not be astronomically high and if any judgment made against you is paid within a month, there will be no further repercussions.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you for your valuable time and advice. Very much appreciated.

My pleasure